This is really a good question. In this post, I’ll explain why a synthetic monitoring system ensures applications’ and websites’ availability and performance more than a “normal” monitoring tool.

As I wrote in some previous posts, a bad digital experience can be very costly for companies. For example, if a business application or a website don’t perform well, there can be the following results:

  • Customers can become aggravated, complain, or in the worst case can jump over to your competitors;
  • Performance issues can jeopardize employees work. If the performance isn’t optimized, the employees’ productivity drops and costs increase;
  • IT business critical operations can cause the company serious damages or penalties if they don’t do their job properly. E.g., goods delivery system bad performance may lead to a delivery delay as well as a loss of customers, which easily jump to competitors.

But… Can we set a benchmark for a quality digital experience? Well, it is difficult. BUT it is easy to monitor it and to take proactive actions to improve it and to avoid issues. It is important to underline that companies don’t realize immediately how badly these problems can affect their business. The correlation between an application/website malfunction and the loss of revenue is not so obvious – not always at least.

To keep under control the quality of the delivered service, you have to choose the right synthetic monitoring system because it is really able to tell whether a user journey meets customers’ expectations. Some of the synthetic monitoring tools can also warn you if there’s something wrong in the transaction execution.

A STEP BACK… WHAT IS A SYNTHETIC MONITORING SYSTEM?

As you can read in our glossary:

“Synthetic monitoring, which is also referred to as proactive monitoring or active monitoring, is a website monitoring process which is done with the help of web browser scripted recordings or web browser emulation or web transactions. The paths or behavioral scripts are created to simulate a path or action that the end user would take in site. These paths or behavioral scripts are monitored on regular basis for enhanced performance in terms of availability, functionality and the time taken for responding”

WHY SHOULD COMPANIES RELY ON A SYNTHETIC MONITORING SYSTEM?

With a synthetic monitoring tool, you can measure and analyze performance trends of applications across different geographies, browsers, and resolutions. You can measure performance throughout the days, weeks and months. Once companies have this kind of data, they have a clear picture of the business and of the performance over time; they can identify areas to improve – and so on.

Companies can monitor sites, websites and applications’ availability and end-to-end performance 24/7 from the perspective of end users. Therefore, you can isolate the root cause of any detected bottlenecks, anomalies or issues. In this way, firms can prevent 95-99% of previous performance issues.

It is important to underline that no application is immune to performance issues. Nowadays, the complexity of infrastructures and integrations that support web application delivery make the IT environment very vulnerable. Moreover, applications and websites increasingly depend on third parties, which help increase traffic, conversions and improve customer satisfaction. At the same time though, they can weaken the performance of the given application or website.

BUT…

A synthetic monitoring system will not:

  • Troubleshoot servers and network problems and determine how servers’ performance affects applications’ performance. To reach these goals a support team is needed, in order to analyze the issue, to identify the root problem and to solve it.
  • Just stop end-user complaints. A synthetic monitoring tool can avoid future complaints if smartly used.
  • Give you the complete picture of the IT infrastructure; in fact, it is important to compare synthetic and real end-user experience – real user experience is given by active monitoring systems,  (e.g: Nagios, NetEye, etc.)